Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Internet in an Uproar over Service Dog Fraud

Service dog fraud is becoming a bigger problem

Service dogs are invaluable companions to people with disabilities.  These trained animals guide blind people across the street, keep children with autism from wandering away, help provide support for those with problems walking, etc. But according to this article from The Seattle Times more and more pet owners are committing service dog fraud.  These owners are buying certificates, vests and identification numbers online so that their dogs can accompany them into public places such as stores and restaurants, travel with them free on planes, trains or buses or live in restricted housing. Read more

News, Information and Ideas on how to deal with hearing loss in a hearing world. Plus a few other topics!

Article in USA Today on 'Fake' Service Dogs

Believe it or not, this is becoming a real problem!  I've written other articles on this and even gotten some emails from readers with service dogs asking me to take them down due to their not agreeing with my opinions.  But, the fact is, there are people out there that are taking advantage of the laws/rules for those with true needs for a genuine service dog.
Unfortunately, the ADA law states that a business owner cannot question or require proof that a dog is really a service dog.  It's against the law.  So, the ones that are perpetuating this fraud are getting by with it all in the name of keeping their little darling with them where ever they choose to go.  Until the websites that sell these service dog vests start doing the right thing and require some sort of proof that the dog really is a service dog, the fraud will continue. Read More

Is That a Real Hearing Dog?

Abuse of the Americans with Disabilities Act provisions concerning service dogs is increasing. People are buying fake service dog vests and certifications, and insisting on the right to take their non-service dog pets into stores et al with them. The Department of Justice recently updated Title II regulations on service animals to say that a public entity may ask just two questions regarding service animals: is it needed for a disability and what does the dog do? Documentation is not required.
In my opinion, that makes it rather easy for people who want to pass off their pets as service dogs, to lie. If I am interpreting the DOJ language correctly, it means that all a hearing person has to do is say "My dog is a hearing dog. My dog alerts me to noises that I can not hear." Behavior is apparently the only clue that a dog is or is not a service dog. Real trained service dogs know how to behave.Read More
They’re the ire of legitimate service dog owners and they’re also guilty of fraud.

Pet Owners Who Skirt Rules With Fake Service Dogs Are Committing Fraud

 They’re pet owners who pass their animals off as service dogs by using phony credentials which in turn allows their pets to live in restricted housing, accompany them inside restaurants and hotels or fly for free in airplane cabins rather than in cargo holds
“I don’t want to say it’s a scam, but it is a scam,” said Nick Kutsukos, 72, who runs Elite K9 Academy in Jupiter, Fla., and has trained service dogs for 40 years.Read more



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